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Luscious Locks: 5 Habits of Women with Beautiful Hair

 

 Beautiful Hair 5 Habits

Photo Credit: Image via www.fashionfilesdaily.com

If you find yourself constantly coveting a shinier, thicker, frizz-free mane, you’d be surprised to hear that the answer to obtaining one doesn’t lie in pricey salon treatments or caviar-infused scalp masks. Instead, it’s simply down to good old-fashioned daily habits that literally make or break your strands.

 Here, after many deep conversations about heat styling and conditioners with the women in our lives who seem to effortlessly grow magazine-cover ready hair, we’re happy to reveal to you the ultimate practices to getting and maintaining those enviably luscious locks.

    1. Trimming Your Hair Regularly

Yes, even when trying to grow it out. As tempting as it might be to skip seasonal trims in the hopes of achieving a longer hairdo faster, to add healthy length you need to do just the opposite. While cutting the ends of your hair doesn't affect the follicles in your scalp which determine how fast and how much your hair grows, frequent trims might make your hair look a little longer. This is because getting rid of split ends reduces hair breakage, and breakage is what makes hair look thinner and lifeless. Also, once your hair splits, there’s no way to reverse it or repair the damage. So aim to get a haircut every six to eight weeks to prevent harmful breakage before it starts.

      2. Sleeping on Silk

While cotton may feel soft to the skin, its weave actually grips and tugs at individual strands, causing damage and breakage to the hair when you toss and turn at night. The effects of continuous contact with cotton pillowcases can also tangle hairstyles, ultimately resulting in more frizz and less shine. Meanwhile, silk’s smooth texture allows hair to slide around more smoothly, preventing knotted hair and split ends. Unlike cotton that absorbs moisture, silk stimulates hydration, leaving your hair shinier and soft to the touch. Fewer frizzy strands in the morning? Now that sounds truly dreamy.

     3. Minimizing Heat Styling

Blowdrying, straightening, and curling tools have become an invaluable resource when it comes to taming otherwise unruly strands, but sadly frequent heat styling takes a toll on your hair, wearing and degrading it over time.  The regular exposure to high temperatures leaves the hair dry, dull and prone to breakage. If you can avoid it and air-dry instead, it will greatly help you maintain the quality of your hair. Have fun and try wearing a ponytail, bun, or braid the second day, or use a serum to control frizz and tame fly-always. But if you absolutely must use hot tools to style your hair, always use a spray-in heat protectant. To remember, think of it this way: a heat protectant is the hair equivalent of sunscreen for the skin. Don’t skip it.

*Bonus tip: Heat-protection serums work best with blow dryers, while sprays are more compatible with flat irons. Different products are designed for dry versus wet hair so be sure to check the label beforehand.

      4. Eating the Right Foods

Much like the skin on our face, beautiful hair starts with nourishment from within. So despite all the attention we pay to the hair follicle once it leaves the scalp, the condition of your hair is an outward sign of inside health. What you put inside your body every day plays an immense role in the rate of your hair’s growth, texture, gloss, and volume. The cells that make up each strand of hair require a regular supply of key nutrients. Since hair is made of a protein called Keratin, ensuring you have enough protein in your diet is crucial for keeping your locks strong and healthy. Moreover, a diet rich in iron, Vitamin C, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids will help stimulate your hair follicles for growth.

  1. Moisturizing

The skin that makes up your scalp needs moisture just like the skin on your face does, especially if it's going to provide a healthy foundation for hair to grow. A general rule of thumb is to follow with conditioner every time you shampoo your hair. But the moisturizing doesn't end once you leave the shower. Even if you're not heat-styling your hair, you should comb through a protective product or a nourishing hair cream or oil. It helps to reduce dryness, split ends, boost your hair's shine and beat out frizz.

*Bonus tip: Argan oil works wonderfully as a hair conditioning treatment. Rich in Vitamins A and E, antioxidants and fatty acids, the oil boosts cell production, regeneration, and the hair’s texture. It is particularly effective in treating thinning, damaged or color treated hair.

   Written by Sofia Sosunov

 

 

Dry Body Brushing 101

 Bathers Having Fun

Credit: Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

Amidst a sea of exotic body scrubs, fragrant lotions, and high-tech spa treatments, the modest practice of dry body brushing may appear a little underwhelming. But although humble in its appearance, the bristle brush offers remarkable, lasting results that only take minutes to accomplish. If you have a body brush discarded in the back of your cupboard somewhere, it’s time to dust it off and enjoy the benefits it offers.

 

Why?

Stimulates the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is responsible for collecting, transporting to the blood, and eliminating the waste, our cells produce. All detoxification occurs first and foremost through the lymph. If the lymphatic system is congested, it can lead to a build-up of toxins, causing inflammation and a compromised immune system. By invigorating the skin, the practice of dry brushing boosts the lymphatic system and increases blood flow and circulation, helping your body to metabolize toxins more efficiently, making it a potent detoxification aid.

Exfoliation

The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the body helps to loosen and shed dead skin cells, encourage new cell renewal and eliminate pesky ingrown hairs. After a few sessions; the skin's texture appears notably softer, smoother and suppler. As a bonus, by minimizing clogged pores, the skincare products applied after dry brushing tend to penetrate better, allowing for your skin to hydrate more efficiently.

Reduces Cellulite

The motion of dry brushing aids to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly, which in turn helps to minimize the appearance of cellulite. The technique is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue.

Improves Digestion

While one of the more immediate effects of dry brushing is plumper looking skin, the process goes below the surface, helping to support your digestion and organ function. In fact,  many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water retention and toxins, leading to improved digestion and kidney function.

Stress Relief

The quiet practice of dry brushing can be seen as a meditative ritual. The repetitive upward strokes soothe muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. 

 

How?

First, you'll need a high-quality dry brush, so make sure to look out for one with bristles made from natural materials (avoid synthetic brushes). Ideally, choose a brush with a long handle so you can reach your entire back and other hard-to-reach spots.

The Technique:

Start at your feet and ankles and brush upward using light but firm strokes. You always want to brush toward the heart because that is the way the lymph flows naturally. After you finish brushing your legs work your way up to your stomach, arms, and shoulders. Your skin may appear a little pink afterward, but it should never appear red or irritated—if it does, you need to lessen the pressure. Make sure to avoid sensitive areas such as open cuts, abrasions, and any patches of eczema or psoriasis.

 

When?

Dry brushing is incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine and should be practiced daily for optimal results. Most experts recommend dry brushing in the morning before getting into a shower, rather than before bed because of its energizing qualities.  An average dry brushing session may last between two and 20 minutes, depending on your schedule.

dry body brushes 

 Left to right, top to bottom: Body Skin Detox Brush, $85, Elemis; Cactus Brush, $19.95, The Body Shop; Natural Dry Body Brush, $30, Mio Skincare and Dry Body Brush, $15.95, Manicare

 

   Written by Sofia Sosunov

Spotlight Ingredient: Tumeric

 

 Tumeric facts for beauty and beyond

Tumeric comes in different forms, but there appears to be no distinct health benefit of choosing fresh over powdered. 
Credit: David Murray/Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley

From sneaking into frothy lattés to refreshing juice elixirs and mouthwatering curries, turmeric has quickly become 2017’s ingredient du-jour. But does the golden spice live up to the hype? In a word: yes. A member of the ginger family and a long beloved staple in Indian and Asian cuisines, the vibrant orange-yellow superfood is revered for its health promoting properties and makes a common appearance in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. 

Turmeric possesses strong anti-inflammatory qualities and considering chronic inflammation is a key factor in many of today’s widespread diseases – including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes – the fragrant spice can improve a person’s overall health.

Still not convinced? We present to you five reasons why you should add an extra dash of the turmeric to your diet.

  1. ANTICANCER EFFECTS

Curcumin, a phytochemical and the primary healing agent found in turmeric has strong antioxidant properties that prevent the formation of and neutralize free radicals. According to Phyllis A. Balch, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, “It [curcumin] stops precancerous changes within DNA and interferes with enzymes necessary for cancer progression.”   A 2013 international laboratory study looked at the effects of combined treatment with curcumin and chemotherapy on bowel cancer cells. The researchers concluded that the combined treatment shows better results than chemotherapy alone.

  1. PROTECTS THE LIVER

The liver is one of the body’s most important organs. It is responsible for converting food to energy, ridding your body of toxins, and producing bile, a liquid that aids digestion.  Turmeric contains chemical compounds that have been shown to protect the liver from damage, improve its ability to detoxify, and support the regeneration of new liver cells. 

  1. IMPROVED DIGESTION

Turmeric helps to stimulate the production of bile, which in-turn assists the breakdown and absorption of fats from your food. It also reduces the symptoms of gas and bloating for people susceptible to indigestion. In fact, in Germany, turmeric supplements are sometimes prescribed for digestive problems.

  1. IMPROVED MENTAL HEALTH

Studies have shown that curcumin can increase levels of the brain chemical BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in animal models. Low BDNF is associated with a host of mental disorders, including depression and anxiety. An increase in BDNF is thought to improve mental health, well-being, and mood. BDNF also stimulates the growth of new neurons in the brain, which could lead to enhanced memory. Studies show that extracts of turmeric contain a number of natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. LOWERS CHOLESTEROL & IMPROVES BLOOD VESSEL HEALTH

Curcumin stops the oxidation of cholesterol, thus protecting against the formation of plaque in the arteries and the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to cholesterol and plaque build-up), which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

  1. TREATS ARTHRITIS

Because curcumin is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing characteristics, a study was conducted on 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients to compare the benefits of curcumin in turmeric to the arthritis drug Diclofenac sodium, which put people at risk of developing leaky gut and heart disease. The curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in overall [Disease Activity Score] scores and these scores were significantly better than the patients in the diclofenac sodium group. More importantly, curcumin treatment was found to be safe and did not relate to any adverse effects. 

  Written by Sofia Sosunov